THE Sunday Mail scored major wins at the South Australia Media Awards, with state political editor Brad Crouch named South Australian Journalist of the Year and Best Print Journalist.
The announcement came as a surprise to Mr Crouch who was watching the awards from overseas via Skype.
He was awarded the top accolades for works including a feature on Labor power-broker Peter Malinauskas, who told former premier Mike Rann his time was up, and an investigation into a taxpayer-funded bonus given to desalination plant builder Adelaide Aqua.
The judges said: “Brad Crouch has a sharp eye for news and a ferocious desire to seek the story behind the story.”
The Sunday Mail staff won two other wards. Sarah Mennie won Best News Report for her Mintabie water series and Alice Monfries was named Best Young Journalist.
Sean McGowan, of Fairfax regional The Islander, was named Best Photographer for the second time.
Best Feature Photo went to Tricia Watkinson, of The Advertiser, and Andrea Laube, of News Limited, won Best News Photo for her image of Adelaide United football fans rioting.
Simon Cross, of The Advertiser, won Best Sport Photo for his mid-motion capture of a jockey coming off his horse.
“The photographer was in the right place at the right time. Having the image pin sharp, full action and some distance after the horses had cleared the jump has made this image remarkable,” said the judges.
Former Advertiser sports photographer, Ray Titus, was inducted into the SA Media Hall of Fame.
Twenty-six awards were presented this year by the Media, Arts & Entertainment Alliance.
The calibre of work had stepped up this year and winners were chosen after plenty of debate between judges, Media Alliance secretary Angelique Ivanica told News Now.
A full list of winners and judges’ comments can be seen here.